Hello Mustang Fans!
It is another excited week in Mustang athletics. The Mustang volleyball team hits the No. 1 spot in the Central Region rankings for this week. The SMSU athletics department will be hosting high school playoff games out at the Regional Events Center Friday afternoon and into the evening. It is a busy time of year with our fall sports beginning to close out their seasons and the winter sports just getting underway.
The SMSU volleyball team has moved up two spots and is ranked No. 1 in the latest NCAA Central Region volleyball rankings, announced by the NCAA national volleyball committee on Wednesday. The NCAA Central Region is composed of 28 schools from the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC).
The NSIC earned the top four spots in the region and six out of the ten spots. The top eight teams, announced on Nov. 14, qualify for the NCAA region tournament on Nov. 18-20.
Following Tuesday night's victory at MSU-Moorhead (matches from Tuesday were not considered in this week's rankings), SMSU is 22-3 overall. Concordia-St. Paul is ranked second, followed by Wayne State, Minnesota-Duluth and Metro State. Minnesota State-Mankato is ranked sixth, followed by Nebraska-Kearney, Colorado School of Mines, Regis and Mesa State.
The Mustangs will be on the road this weekend with a pair of conference matches. The Mustangs will face Mary on Friday at 7 p.m., and Northern State on Saturday starting at 5 p.m. Congratulations to Coach Culhane and the Mustang volleyball team.
Hoofprints Trivia Question
What was the leading scorer on last year's Mustang men's basketball team?
The first person to email Chris Hmielewski at MustangHoofPrints@SMSU.edu with the correct answer to this question will receive an SMSU t-shirt. The winner will be announced on The Saturday Morning Mustang Show between 9-10 a.m. on 1400 AM each week.
The SMSU men's basketball team opens its 2010-11 season on Sunday afternoon with an exhibition game versus the SMSU men's basketball alumni team starting at 4 p.m. at the R/A Facility. The game is part of "Andy Wiersma Day" at SMSU.
Several tributes to Wiersma will be on display throughout the game, while a performance by the 2010-11 Mini-Mustangs will take place at halftime. Following his playing career in 2006, the SMSU men's basketball program honored Wiersma by renaming its "Mustang Award" the "Andy Wiersma Mustang Award". The award is given each year to an SMSU men's basketball player who exemplifies the qualities of being a Mustang men's basketball student-athlete.
The SMSU alumni team will consist of some of the best players in school history. Players expected to play include: Ryan Krome, DeAnthony Zanders, Undre Ellis, Andy Beilke, Jacob Fahl, Matt Fletcher, Jon DeRock, Andrew Peschong, Kevin Andrews, Nick Dale, Jeremy VanKlompenburg and David Voigt. I look forward to seeing you Sunday afternoon as the Mustang men open their season.
The Mustang football team (4-5, 3-5 NSIC) travels to Mankato for its final road game of the season on Saturday, taking on Minnesota State-Mankato (5-4, 3-4 NSIC) at Blakeslee Stadium, with kickoff set for 1 p.m. The Mustangs will be looking for its first-ever victory against MSU in nine games, and will also be looking to return to the .500 mark overall on the season. The Mustangs need victories in their final two games to record just the ninth winning season in school history.
Two SMSU soccer players earned NSIC honors this week. Seniors Kendra Olchefske and Liz Judkins were named All-NSIC third team and All-NSIC honorable mention, respectively.
Olchefske, a 5-7 goalie from Albert Lea finished with 139 saves on the season, which ranks her sixth overall for SMSU's single-season saves record, as well as second all time with 7.60 saves per game average over her career with the Mustangs. Olechefske sits third on the leader board with a cumulative 357 saves in her career.
Olchefske ranks second in the conference this season with an average of 8.69 saves per game and eighth in saves percentage with .803.
Judkins, a 5-8 defender from Bemidji played a pivotal role for the Mustangs' defense for the past four years. She played a total of 68 games, took 30 shots with 16 on goal, and dished out two assists in her career.
The SMSU women's basketball team played the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher women's basketball team last night at Williams Arena at 7 p.m. The Mustangs are in action next week when they open the regular season on Nov. 16 at home against William Penn (Iowa) at 7 p.m. at the R/A Facility.
The Mustang wheelchair basketball is idle until Dec. 4 when they will take on the Madonna Magic, continuing their 11-game home stand to begin the season.
The SMSU wrestling team is one week away from opening their 2010-11 season, when the Mustangs head to Fargo, N.D. to participate in the Bison Open.
Good luck to all of our Mustang teams this week. Go Mustangs!
Congratulations to, Gordon Molitor, who provided the correct answer to the Mustang Hoofprints Trivia Question: What Mustang wrestler was a two-time NAIA All-American in 1984 and 1985 (150 pounds) and in 1984 beat the three-time defending national champion to get to the semi-final round at 142 pounds? Tim Molitor was a two-time NAIA All-American for the Mustangs in 1984 and 1985 and as Gordon shared with me in his email, "that was a fun day" when Tim bested the three-time defending national champion.